Ashley was a beautiful young woman from the Oakbank area of Manitoba, Canada. A gifted goalie with tremendous promise, during her career she played for Oakbank soccer, Winnipeg Southend United, and the Manitoba Provincial Team. She was dedicated to this sport she loved and worked diligently; steadily improving and climbing up the ranks of competitive soccer.
In 2008 she helped Team Eastman win gold at the Manitoba Games in Carman. She was named player of the game in the Manitoba Soccer Association’s provincial championships in 2009 and represented Manitoba in two national championships in 2009: one in Sydney, Nova Scotia and the other in Lavel, Quebec. In 2011/12 she had the distinction of being invited to join the Regional Training Center soccer program at Glenlawn Collegiate. Living outside the city, this meant going to a new school away from her close friends at Springfield Collegiate in Oakbank, very early mornings, and long busrides after school... but her committment never wavered.
Ashley's special ability to connect with people of all ages and walks of life caused her to touch many in a special way. She was that girl who parents were happy to have their children spend time with. But this was not because she was a quiet, serious teen...instead, she possessed a free spirit and ease of laughter that was endearing and infectious. Though she was beautiful and talented she was also humble, appreciative, and hardworking. She had a concern for those less fortunate which was evident when she reached out to young people who others labeled as different in an effort to make them feel included and accepted. She also volunteered with seniors and she had a gift for connecting with them and brightening their day.
Due to her strength in character this scholarship is being set up with criteria representative of such positive attributes. We believe this fills a gap in the current scholarships available to young student athletes in Manitoba. Rather than focusing only on academic standing, this scholarship will reward that hard-working student who may not achieve top grades but whose positive attitude in the face of adversity serves as an example to others. Financial need will also be a criterion weighed in selection in recognition of Ashley’s concern about those less fortunate.
During her soccer career Ashley faced many set backs and injuries too numerous to count. Despite these hardships, Ashley was always smiling and continued to exhibit a positive attitude and exemplary work ethic. It was the same fearlessness and determination that contributed to her injuries that also pulled her through each and every one. Tough and tenacious she was also gracious in both victory and defeat, encouraging others in times of struggle and genuine in her celebration of their successes.
Those who were privileged to know her will never forget her. We appreciate you taking the time to learn about this special young woman and the scholarship established to honour her memory.